A man is being held on a $2 million bond after prosecutors say he trafficked hundreds of pounds of cannabis into McHenry County and laundered money. Police found him with $800,000 in cash.
Matthew D. Lilla, 36, of the 4300 block of North Sawyer Avenue in Chicago, was charged with cannabis trafficking, unlawful possession of cannabis with intent to deliver, attempted cannabis trafficking, unlawful possession of cannabis, four counts of money laundering and calculated criminal conspiracy.
A motion filed by prosecutors said the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office has been conducting an investigation over the course of the last two years into a cannabis trafficking organization within McHenry County.
Police learned Lilla was causing large amounts of cannabis to be brought into Illinois, prosecutors said.
Lilla allegedly used various storage units, industrial warehouses and houses to store drugs and proceeds from the operation.
An unnamed co-defendant and “an associate” of Lilla were stopped by police in October in North Dakota.
The two were driving a van that had 583 pounds of cannabis, prosecutors said.
The associate and the co-defendant were on the way to McHenry County when they were stopped.
The co-defendant had been in communication with Lilla, prosecutors said.
A search of a residence owned by Lilla in McHenry County that same day revealed “numerous pounds” of cannabis, cash, drug ledgers and other packaging materials.
Days prior to that search warrant, police executed search warrants on storage units rented by Lilla.
Law enforcement located almost $800,000 in cash within three separate storage units.
The McHenry County Sheriff’s Office has seized assets of Lilla’s worth “well over” $1 million, prosecutors said.
The sheriff’s office has been unable to locate any legitimate source of income for Lilla, who signed a mortgage application in June where he reported his income was $8,683 a month, the motion said.
That mortgage application was for a $400,000 home Lilla purchased in the 11600 block of Hawthorne Way in Huntley.
A criminal complaint said Lilla made a wire transfer of over $92,000 to complete the sale of the home, which was “used to advance his criminal drug activity.”
The complaint also said Lilla laundered between $100,000 and $500,000 and sent $50,000 to another man to “advance his criminal drug activity.”
An arrest warrant was issued early this month and Lilla was taken into custody Tuesday.
Lilla is being held in the McHenry County Jail on a $2 million bond.
He would have to post $200,000 cash in order to be released, which the poster would have to prove was earned legitimately, court records show.
A motion hearing is scheduled for Monday.